President Uhuru Kenyatta says the best way to stabilise Somalia would be through more support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
“Stability in Somalia is key for the region and anything we can do to ensure the progress so far achieved is sustained, we should do,” he said when he met UN Secretary General António Guterres on Sunday.
The President, who is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Heads of State Summit also discussed peace initiatives in South Sudan with Mr Guterres and called on the UN to consider a phased withdrawal of Amisom from Somalia.
Uhuru termed the timing of plans to withdraw Amisom troops unfortunate because the Somali national forces were not prepared to take over the country’s security responsibility.
“I would like to call on the UN and the AU to ensure practical and realistic Amisom exit timelines that should be subjected to regular reviews,” the President said, adding, “It is about Kenya working with the region and partners such as the UN to secure peace in South Sudan.
It is a subject that concerns us, as much as it does the UN.” Guterres said Africa needed more support to fight terrorism. The UN boss hailed the sustained peace initiative in South Sudan and Somalia.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) is spearheading peace in South Sudan. He encouraged AU member states, including Kenya, not to give up on efforts to secure the region’s peace.
“I urge Kenya to return to the forefront of the continent’s efforts to secure lasting peace in her northern neighbour,” Guterres said, adding that all parties involved in the conflict should work together to seek a lasting solution. Meanwhile, the President told the AU Peace and Security Council that Kenya had established a strategy to counter radicalisation of youths by terrorism groups.
“The National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) is a multi-agency mechanism that ensures Kenya’s counter-terrorism policies are implemented,” the President said. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who is the AU Peace and Security Council chairman, and AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki called on the world to join the ongoing efforts to combat terrorism in Africa.